A London charity has received £100k of funding for a new project helping ex-offenders settle back into the community.
The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, awarded the grant to educational and criminal justice charity Voyage, based in Hackney, for a new programme called Horizons Plus. The overall aim of the programme is to counter the negative effects of criminal records which can act as a barrier to work and higher education.
The initiative, launching on June 9, will deliver an intensive programme of personal development training to 30 young people a year. It will offer a bespoke 10 week employment skills, mentoring and rehabilitation programme with partner Hackney Community College for young people from age 15 to 21.
The programme will be available across eight London Boroughs including Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Haringey, Camden, City of London and Waltham Forest, with a strong focus on the black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said:
“This charity is already providing support to some of the most vulnerable members of the community at times when they need it most.
“This new programme is an opportunity for these young people to really turn their lives around and provide the first stepping stones for building a long-lasting, successful career.
“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”
Paul Anderson MBE, CEO at Voyage, added:
“Our new programme is designed to drive down the barriers faced by ex-offenders, helping them to reintegrate back into society, find work and get into education.
“It will provide our young people with the skills they need to enter the workforce through dedicated training programmes and workshops.”
Service user Ashton, aged 15, said:
“If I change my thoughts to positive ones then everything else changes that way. Horizons sessions have helped me realise I can make the right choice for myself”
City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,500 grants totalling over £360 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.